What You’ll Find when you open Pandora’s Box? A GREAT lesson in Community Building.
Pandora Quick Facts
- Pandora has 22 million registered users
- Pandora’s marketing consisted of: Search, Tim hosting TownHalls and great customer service.
- Pandora has real people who personally respond to every email.
- The first Town Hall meeting with Tim had 2 people show up. And it was in Manhattan.
- The average Pandora user tells 8 people about the service.
- The Pandora iphone app is the #1 application with over 3 million downloads in only 6 months.
“If you build a product that people like and if you treat them well, they’ll do your marketing for you” – Tim Westergren, Founder Pandora
Pandora Case Study – Mobilize Users for a Cause
The most intriguing thing that Tim talked about was a situation where Pandora users kept their business alive.
- The Copyright Royalty Board (an obscure 3 person panel) made a ruling that would essentially triple the royalties paid by sites like Pandora.
- The new costs would put Pandora out of business.
- You can read an interview with Tim that goes into more details.
- Pandora was small, so lobbying and working the channels were not effective.
- Pandora was on the verge of having to shut their doors.
- As a last resort effort, Pandora asked listeners for their help; and asked them to call or fax their Congress representative.
- Pandora users responded in droves, and actually shut down the fax system in Washington. Over 400,000 faxes were sent in the first 10 days (from my notes but I can’t verify this # anywhere).
- More people contacted Congress on behalf of Pandora than over the Iraq war.
- Congress reacted (apparently they wanted to use their fax machines again) and took up the issue.
- On September 28 Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act, which allowed internet radio sites like Pandora to renegotiate the Royalties.
- The law was turned around by passionate Pandora listeners.
- Treat your users well.
- Have a great product that people are passionate about.
- If you care about your users, they’ll care about you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Don’t forget the power of the people.